Louisiana legislature state capitol stock file photo

Louisiana State Capitol. 

The good news is that Louisiana’s senators upheld Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of an extreme gun-rights bill.

The bad news is that majorities of both houses passed the bill in the first place.

And the governor’s wise action fell only three votes short of being overridden in the Senate during the highly unusual veto session this week.

The bill would have allowed residents 21 and older to carry, and conceal, firearms without a mandatory background check, without a permit, and without firearms safety training.

This was a close-run thing. Several members of the Senate changed their positions on the bill after hearing loud and clear that the measure would make both citizens and law enforcement officers more in danger.

The bipartisan majorities of the original passage of the bill were unwise in the first place. It was only after the governor’s action, and a highly public rebuke from police chiefs and some of the most prominent sheriffs in the state, that lawmakers reconsidered.

Republican Sen. Louie Bernard of Natchitoches said he changed his mind after hearing from law enforcement. “Until I’m ready to put on the badge and wear the uniform, I can’t ignore that view,” he said.

The GOP-led Legislature insisted on a veto session over social hot-button issues, with little or no chance of two-thirds votes to override most of the governor’s decisions.

What happened to the Republican Party’s traditional support of police and sheriffs?

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